Story: Peter Calloway
Art: Alex Shibao
Colors: Natalie Marques
Letterer: Marshall Dillon
What They Say:
Sasha knew sabotage was inevitable. He expected it from the outside — from the other multi-national coalitions building ships — but when he discovers sabotage is coming from within, Sasha is on a mission. He and Roger must work together — something they’ve never been good at — to try to stop the mysterious saboteur before they destroy everything.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The Last Space Race hasn’t been the easiest of books to read in general with the way it moves back and forth but when you add a three-month gap between issues you make it even harder. Peter Calloway gives us a tighter focused installment this time around and that does help a lot but there’s still that sense of no strong central narrative to really carry it forward. Alex Shibao provides for some good character designs as I like his style a lot and it definitely fits well here, whether it’s the small personal moments or the bigger action sequences that hit, giving us time in space and time on the ground that are both well-represented.
The two intertwined stories that we get here are pretty good even if the overall focus is on just Sasha. The mission in space with the station is one that doesn’t go well here. Initially, it’s moving along and Sasha’s in the platform chair with the arm getting ready for the work. But the discovery of things not being right inside with what it’ll control has them realizing that someone else is controlling the platform. And it’s being used as a blunt weapon with Sasha attached to kill them all. There’s a nice bit of tension with it and seeing some honest reactions from a non-military style crew as they react to the way everything is about to go south in a big way definitely plays well, whether it’s the sarcasm out of Sasha or the panic from this inside. Even more so as Sasha realizes the only way to save the crew and the ship involves a lot of self-sacrifice.
This plays into the other half of the book where it’s quite some time pre-mission where Sasha is still being evaluated. His backstory is revealed a bit more in terms of what his parents did to get them out of Latvia during dangerous times and it reinforces the self-sacrifice aspect that Sasha has to him. But it also comes from the desire, according to the psychologist, to die and join his daughter Mia. There’s a lot of guilt to be had there and that’s a huge reason why she doesn’t want to approve him. Sasha may be the most qualified for what they need but he’s also the most dangerous. He’s not looking just to get killed but rather to die in some sort of useful way. Which, of course, is what’s presented to him and that has you questioning everything about who is really behind the sabotage since we’ve not had the most linear of stories.
The Last Space Race continues to have some interesting ideas behind it but the delays between issues and the awkward nature of how the story is framed out and presented means it’s a hard one to really connect with. There are things I like in this issue in getting to know Sasha better and why he’s such a danger to this mission and I really enjoyed the time in space seeing them react to danger. But it’s also easy to forget about the big picture and why all of this is happening because of the delays and when you realize you’re on the fourth issue and began reading it six or seven months ago.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: AfterShock Comics
Release Date: May 8th, 2019